Dementia & Alzheimer’s Treatment: A Comprehensive Family-Centered Approach
Dementia treatment, Alzheimer’s treatment and geriatric psychiatrist treatment all require a specialized approach to care due to the complex dynamics involved these illnesses. I approach the treatment geriatric patients as well as patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s with a comprehensive approach. I integrate the following components into the care of my patient’s and their families-
1. Family-centered dementia treatment-
Depending on the stage of dementia or psychiatric illness, the family members play a crucial role in the treatment process. Unfortunately the medical system does not typically integrate family into the treatment plan in general but especially in cases of geriatric psychiatric illness. I integrate every family member into the treatment plan from the first visit. This includes having them participate in the evaluation process to fully understand the presentation of symptoms, the course of illness and the most difficult struggles day-to-day so that I can properly target the most troublesome problems.
I help each family member understand the disease process, the course of illness, the expectations that will help them manage the difficulties of the situation and help them understand how to best help their loved one. Family members themselves often put their own well-being last when trying to seek help for a loved one; therefore I often make time to spend with the family members alone to ensure they are getting the support they need to not only keep themselves healthy but also to best be able to help their loved one.
From early in the course of dementia to late-stage dementia, I work closely with family to fully support them through the process.
2. Integrative treatment approach for the patient-
Depending on the type of Dementia or Alzheimer’s, and the stage of the illness, I customize my Dementia treatment plan and to include the following modalities-
-Medications to address mood symptoms, anxiety, insomnia or paranoia depending on the illness
-Psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, supportive psychotherapy
-Behavioral-activation therapy in order to maximize their daily pleasure. This type of therapy aims to identify the most enjoyable aspects of life and figure out a way to integrate more of these things into day-to-day life. We achieve this by bringing in specialized care-giver’s, arranging transportation and planning activities in session
-Education and discussion about expectations and progression of illness
If you or a family members are dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and value a truly comprehensive approach to care, please call to discuss treatment options.